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10 of our Favorite Breeds of Small Dogs

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Animal Medical Centers of Loudoun: Brambleton

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Dogs come in many shapes and sizes. Did you know that there are approximately 91 different breeds of small dogs in the world today?

There are many reasons to own a small breed. Research suggests that breeds of small dogs live longer, plus they are easy to keep and cheaper to maintain. For many living in cities or small environments, a smaller dog is best suited for their lifestyle. Find a veterinarian for breeds of small dogs here.

Here are 10 of our favorite breeds of small dogs:

  1. Beagle

According to the American Kennel Club, Beagles are most popular breed of small dog in the country. Gentle, intelligent and great for those that love exercise, this hound dog loves nothing more than running around the great outdoors. Beagles date back to the 18th century when they were highly used as hunting hounds due to their agility and relentlessness. Beagles thrive in families, they also get along well with other dog breeds thanks to their calm, cohesive nature and their desire to be part of the group. We can thank Snoopy in part for making this breed so famous!

  1. Pug

Often referred to as the ‘clowns’ of the dog world, the faithful pug has a cult following for their cheerful and playful nature. The Pug is an affectionate and intelligent breed. They are fun-loving, outgoing and charming. The Pug is a great family dog and gets along well with children. Pugs adapt easily to apartment life since they don’t require a lot of exercise. Although this breed can be stubborn, they do best with positive training and plenty of socialization. This is a brachycephalic breed, also known as a short-faced or snub-nosed breed, and needs to have plenty of protection from heatstroke during warmer weather. These goofballs are best portrayed by Doug the Pug on Instagram.

  1. Corgis

Good enough for The Queen of England, Corgis are full of character and a British royal favorite. Small maybe, but this is a dog with plenty of stamina, equally at ease guarding cattle (which they were bred for) as they are at home by the fireplace. The corgi has a big personality in one small package. This breed is active, intelligent and friendly, and enjoys being around family, friends and other dogs. They do well with lots of off-leash exercise, and also enjoy dog sporting activities and long hikes.

  1. Miniature Schnauzer

The Schnauzer is an old German breed, having been depicted in paintings as far back as the 1400s. The German word for muzzle is “schnauzer,” and all schnauzer varieties being bred to have bristly hair on the nose and mouth. This adorable terrier is a great pet for those who want to train their dog and teach it new tricks. Distinguished by their big eyebrows and plenty of fur, this is a breed loaded with energy. The miniature schnauzer is high-spirited, friendly, and eager to please. They are courageous like most terriers, but generally obedient.

  1. Dachshund

A case of its bark being bigger than their bite, this fearless breed is perfect for apartment life. Bred in Germany to hunt prey, this remains a dog with a hunting instinct, but also enjoys the company of its owners. Dachshunds are incredibly intelligent and active. This is an outgoing and friendly dog breed that’s fun to have around. The Dachshund is playful and loves affection. Take note that this breed is prone to weight problems, and that any unhealthy weight gain will put a strain on their backs and legs.

  1. French Bulldog

Consistently in the top ten dog breeds across the world, the French Bulldog has been around since the 1800s. This breed is affectionate, alert, curious and intelligent, getting along well with other dogs and people. They adapt easily to apartment life since they don’t require a lot of exercise. Although this breed can be stubborn, they are easy keepers, and do best with positive training and plenty of socialization. This is a brachycephalic breed, also known as a short-faced or snub-nosed breed, and needs to have plenty of protection from heatstroke. Fun fact: singer John Legend has a ‘Frenchie’ named Pippa!

  1. Pomeranian

For those that want a loving lap dog, the Pomeranian can handle plenty of pampering and attention! This particularly fluffy breed is great for those that enjoy grooming too. With a thick double coat, the Pomeranian needs regular brushing to keep them clean and free of mats. Their undercoats will typically shed heavily twice a year. Pomeranians require only a moderate amount of exercise, and their diets should be monitored closely so they don’t become overweight. Famous dog lover Sharon Osbourne travels everywhere with her pet Pomeranian, who doubles as her ‘emotional support dog’. 

  1. Poodles

One of the most family-friendly breeds, this is a smart dog that is easy to train and gets along with everyone. Because of their wonderful temperament, they are often used for cross-breeding purposes. They remain one of the most popular breeds of dog in America and around the world. While standard poodles can be large, their toy and miniature counterparts are breeds of small dogs. The Toy Poodle is the smallest weighing an average of  5 to 7 pounds and standing at a height of less than 10.” The Miniature Poodle  stands at 10” to 15” while its weight may be anything between 12 to 20 pounds.

  1. Affenpinscher

The Affenpinscher is a distinctive looking pup. Loyal and curious, they make great companions and are known to entertain! According to the AKC, they’re more fearless than their size would suggest, and are all the more humorous because of how serious they are. They are also easy to look after since they don’t shed as much as other dogs. Due to their wiry fur they are sometimes thought of as hypoallergenic. These pus are loyal breeds of small dogs, and are prone to gaining weight.

10. Pekingese

When the fur ball Eric the Pekingese competed in the famous dog competition ‘Crufts’, he won the hearts of a nation. It sums up this wonderful and loveable breed, ideal for owners that don’t want too much exercise and love cuteness! Interestingly, this ancient breed of toy dog originates from China where they are called ‘Lion Dogs’ due to their resemblance to guardian lions. The Pekingese needs plenty of socialization and positive training from puppyhood. This dog breed does best with daily exercise combined with mental stimulation.  Daily grooming maintenance and is necessary. Note that this is a brachycephalic breed, and should be watched closely in warmer temperatures.

What are your favorite breeds of small dogs? Share in the comments! And find a veterinarian here.